3 problems, 5 solutions
  Breaking Free Chizuk #1406  
In Today's Issue
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Attitude & Perspective: Combatting the Stress of Porn Addiction
Daily Dose of Dov: The "process" is our business; The "purpose" is Hashem's business.
Torah: Feel new every day
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Image of the Day
Attitude & Perspective
Combatting the Stress of Porn Addiction
The 3 forms of stress and 5 ways to handle them.
By Fortifyprogram.org

Porn was our escape. A destructive and co-dependent escape, but an escape nonetheless. When hard times came into our lives, we would dodge them and go running for a fix rather than dealing with them head on. The release we felt from using porn would numb us to the bumps and bruises of life while simultaneously blinding us to the healthy joys of the world around us. In our quest to avoid pain, we closed ourselves off to happiness. But now things have changed. Recovery is breaking down the walls of isolation and addiction and we can start to feel the little things again. Warmth is returning to our minds and bodies. But sometimes those same old negative feelings creep back in.

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Daily Dose of Dov
The "process" is our business; The "purpose" is Hashem's business.
By Dov

As I have posted many times before, I was absolutely shocked to discover that my real problem was not Jewish/religious at all, but simply human. The main issue for me in those years of active addiction was always and only: "I am a poor oved Hashem". When my problem finally got bad enough that my life was burning down, I realized that I was losing my sanity, my realness with my wife and everybody else, and that I was a complete fake, even to the Creator. Which of those things are exclusively Jewish? None. It was no longer "a Hamodia teshuva topic" ;-)

It wasn't "madreigos" that I was losing, it was the basis of my entire humanity. It just looked like my yiddishkeit to me, because the ba'alei mussar who I loved had taught me that every part of my existence was by definition yiddishkeit. They didn't tell me that I had to be a human first.

It seems to me that if I am compulsively calling 800/900 #s, looking at porn, masturbating, looking in windows, or fantasizing about women I see or know, I am not even sane yet. He's a shtick beheimo, and he knows it. And it's hell on earth. Yes, I have had many convincingly sane moments during those years, but the proof is in the pudding, and how I lived my life. It only got worse overall, never better. (B"H, now it only gets better overall!)

So, was my original goal in recovery "success in avodas Hashem"? No, no, no. If it had been, I know I'd still be out there, crying about it in sh'ma and feeling like if I cry so much, I must be a tzaddik of some weird kind! (I like to say that I was such a tzaddik nistar in my addiction, that even Hashem didn't know that I was a tzaddik!


Inasmuch that I came to recognize the truth about myself when I came to recovery: that I am a selfish, needy, manipulative, fearful, and lying man, my tachlis was only to stop dying spiritually, mentally, and physically. That WAS my only tachlis then... it's kind of hard to pay attention to anything else at that point... "When you can't breath, nothing else matters", you know.

Hashem's tachlis? What do I know of His tachlis for me? To smear grease on the tzaddik's wagon axle or to save Jewish lives, or to be mechadesh Torah b'rabim? It's not my business - it's His! I just want to stay alive. And so far, imperfectly, it's working out quite nicely.

It just doesn't work at all for me or anyone I know to think about outcomes of any kind while recovering. It's just more 'controlling' and less 'surrendering', so it just makes us stay crazy. Then folks like me would probably just blame it all on SA, AA, our wives, or whatever.


"Kollel Guy" responds to Dov's Post:

Dov's words are so true...

But so g---dam hard to accept!!


Dov Responds to "Kollel Guy":

Don't worry. I never accepted them, either. They were forced down my throat!

That's why I honestly say that all my gratitude for finally getting into recovery goes to two "places': (1) My addiction (for finally getting bad enough to make me have to choose between life and death), and (2) l'havdil, Hashem (for helping me choose life). Sorry about the order, folks....

Feel new every day

The Beis Ahron of Karlin writes that Torah and Mitzvos need to feel fresh and new in our eyes every day. So he asks, how can we instill this in our hearts? Answers the Beis Ahron, we can learn a Kal Ve'Chocher from the Yetzer Hara himself. The Yetzer Hara tempts a person to sin and he listens to him and falls. But after the person sins, he becomes disgusted with the desire (and resolves never to fall again). And yet the very next day, the Yetzer Hara tempts him once again with this same desire and he renews the desire in his heart R"L, just like before. So how much more so, the Torah and Mitzvos, which are the life source of all the worlds and a person's very life - should feel new to a person every day!

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Do you think you may have a porn addiction?

Do you have a problem with obsessive and compulsive porn use? Have you seriously tried the tools on GYE and feel that you are not getting better? Maybe it’s time to consider joining a 12-Step program.

Porn Anonymous (PA)
If you’re compulsively acting-out with pornography and masturbation we suggest you explore joining Porn Anonymous (PA). If you need help deciding whether to join PA, call Michael at 347-699-2368, or email help@pornanonymous.org to schedule a time to talk. For more information visit pornanonymous.org (Hebrew: p-a.org.il / Yiddish: pa-yid.org).

Sexaholics Anonymous (SA)
If your compulsive acting-out has progressed beyond the screen (with other people, paid sexual services, etc.) we suggest you explore joining Sexaholics Anonymous (SA). To figure out if SA is for you, call Dov at 917-414-8205, or email Dov at dov@guardyoureyes.org to schedule a time to talk. For more information visit www.sa.org.

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